Getting Members with Events – Like Attracts Like
Prospective members will assume that the events at your space are reflective of the community within. Because of this you should only host content that’s in line with the interests and values of the members you want to attract.
Like attracts like.
Tech events attract tech members. Sustainability events attract sustainability members. Arts events attract art members.
This is great news because, well, it’s pretty intuitive. This is not rocket science. It’s also good because you don’t have to think about hosting separate events for current members than the content you’re already putting on to attract them. They should be the same in my opinion.
However, there are two potential problems you’ll encounter because of “like attracts like.”
First, if you’re hosting events that attract a target audience which your space doesn’t functionally support (i.e. you don’t provide the amenities that person would want), you will inhibit membership signups from that group. For example, if you’re hosting art events but don’t have amenities that are appealing to artists (large storage areas, places to lock up supplies, large open areas for working, gallery space, etc) they won’t sign up. Or if you’re hosting events for tech entrepreneurs, but don’t offer consistently fast wifi, extra monitors or storage for extra monitors, and ample private meeting space, they won’t sign up either.
What’s more, trying to appeal to too many audiences will attract none of them. When a member sees 7 wildly different event categories (e.g. art, tech, food, health, design, writing, and shoe-making) they become incredibly confused. They ask, “Is this really the space for me? Or would I rather go to the space that focuses almost exclusively on X?” Whatever X may be.
I once read a funny little saying that said “a woodpecker can peck a few times on a lot of trees and get tired, or he can peck a whole lot of times on one and get dinner.” Don’t waste your time, energy, and resources pecking at too many trees.
The solution is simple: focus on one (maybe two) audiences and only host events related to those. You can still create great variety with the types or formats of events you host within each genre.
(On a side note, unless you’re a bird, you probably shouldn’t actually peck at anything.)